How the K800i makes laboratory work easy

MicrotomeOne of the top reasons I’m thankful and proud that I bought the Sony Ericsson K800i phone is it’s camera. At 3.2 megapixels powered by Sony’s renowned Cyber-shot technology, the K800i makes a good entry-level digital camera that you could take any where and will give you good quality close-range photos.

I took it with me into the Histology Laboratory class last Monday and used it’s awesome camera to take images of the tissue samples we viewed under the light microscope. The K800i certainly made the lab activity fun, a lot easier yet a bit challenging.

We were tasked to view and study the various samples of epithelial tissues and we are expected to draw the specimens in full-colored details in our trusty paper skecth pads. Tedious and time-consuming it may be but this technique helps us become more familiar with the subjects we study, this time around it’s the epithelial tissues.

It’s a big challenge because our class were divided into groups and we were given only 1 light microscope per group. So it’s 5 students using 1 light micropscope. So much for being a private university with sky-high tuition fees and boasting of premiere-facilities, but more of that in another time.

With this ratio of students to laboratory equipment, time was a bit of a problem. We had to work fast in getting the slides focused correctly and then draw them on-the-fly in our sketch pads because there are others who are waiting in line for their turn. That’s where the K800i and other similar phones come in and make things easier.

Instead of hogging the microscope, I used all my alloted time to focus the slides and then take snapshots of it so that my other group mates could move up the line and spend more time observing the specimens. An added bonus to that, I have photos as references that I could use in reviewing and studying the lessons at home or wherever I go.

To share the benefits of this tool, any one in my class could ask for copies of the photos right after I took the shots all thanks to the Bluetooth or Infrared connectivity built-in to the K800i phone. Of course their phones would need to have the same connectivity features and ample free memory to recieve the photos because at 3-Megapixels, the file size of the photos could be quite hefty on the phone’s memory. Of course if this is not possible I could always share it with them via email or via my Zooomr account.

Label with Photo DJAnother great feature of the K800i is its built-in photo editing software called Photo DJ in which I could add items like frames, clipart elements and in-photo texts. This nifty trick does the job of labelling the photos accordingly, since most tissue samples look almost the same at first glance and more so to the untrained eye. (ehem) My only gripes is that you cannot resize the text so if the specimen’s name is quite long, there’s a great chance that it would overlap on the image itself. Still the K800i is certainly a good tool to have around the laboratory.

But here’s a caveat; I find it quite tricky to get good shots of the specimens because getting the K800i properly aligned with the light microscope’s eyepiece is not an easy thing to do. You need to keep your hands steady and your fingers ready to push the capture button because one wrong move however slight, could ruin the shot. It’s the most challenging part but I’m confident that more practice is just what I need.

Thankfully, our instructor was kind enough to allow us to continue using our camera phones inside the laboratory but just for taking photos of the experiments and activities we perform. After all, it is still a general policy that using mobile phones or other gadgets inside the laboratory is prohibited, well in DLSUD that is. I wonder how it is in other universities?

In conclusion, I’ve just found a new way of boosting my classroom productivity thanks to the K800i and I’m sure everyone else who owns a phone with the similar features and functionalities could also do the same. Better yet, get yourself a similar Cyber-shot phone from Sony Ericsson.

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One thought on “How the K800i makes laboratory work easy

  1. I've always thought that sketching how the specimen look like under the light microscope is such a waste of time. But we do can't get away from it in school, right? Sigh. Why, oh, why can't they change that system? Anyway, it's good that you've using your phone for making lab work easier. What we did in my time was to make a video of the slide presentations used in histology lecture classes, which seems easier nowadays because almost all phones have cameras.

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